The beautiful coastal city of Mangalore, in the state of Karnataka, is dotted by tall coconut trees with shores touching the Arabian Sea. But what makes the city special is the presence of different ethnic communities here and the collective cusine of the region is known to be Mangalorean cuisine. The Bunts, Mogaveeras, Billavas, Goud Saraswat Brahmins, Mangalorean Catholics, and the Bearys, are some of the ethnic communities that have contributed to the ever-so-diverse Mangalorean cuisine. While ceratin delicacies of these communities are quite distinct, certain common ingredients remain the same. From the use of fresh coconut, Byadgi chillies, coriander and cumin seeds to the generous use of black pepper, these are some of the common links you can find in different Mangalorean preparations. 

We are here to focus on one particular ingredient from the Bunt community-  Kundapur Masala Powder. The Bunt community has some of the most delicious delicacies such as Kori Rutti (chicken curry), Meen Gassi (fish curry), Neer Dosa, etc. And all these dishes require a lot of time to prepare since the spices need to be roasted, cooled down before being ground into a fine masala along with other ingredients such as onions, tomatoes, garlic, etc. But not if you have Kundapur Masala Powder or Kundapur Taal Masala Powder made well in advance.


The masala is actually a perfect blend of the right spices in right quantities. While earlier the people in Mangalore used to make a batch of fresh Kundapur Masala for every dish, but with time constraints, they devised a way to make this spice blend ahead of time so making Mangalorean food wouldn’t be so time consuming.  

Kundapur Masala gets its name from a coastal town in Karnataka from where this recipe originated. The recipe might have been originated in the Bunts community, the Mangalorean Christian community too have their own version called Bafat Masala. A perfect mix of coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and garlic along with coconut oil makes for a balanced Kundapur Masala. It is used in many vegetarian and non-vegetarian Mangalorean dishes such as chicken ghee roast, chicken sukka, kori gassi and much more.

Here’s how you can make fresh Kundapur Masala at home:

Kundapur Masala Powder Recipe


250 g dried red chillies

125 g coriander seeds

1.5 tsp - peppercorns

3/4 tbsp - methi seeds (fenugreek seeds)

1 tsp – cumin seeds

30 - garlic flakes (unpeeled)

1/2 tbsp coconut oil


1. Heat an iron wok and dry roast all the ingredients except garlic, on medium heat.

2. Now add garlic and grind to a powder in a mixer.

3. Cool and store in an airtight container. Keep in refrigerator.